Follow Director Todd Moen as he journeys into the Kayapo Territory to discover the Kayapo Project’s sustainable enterprise with Untamed Angling
Is there a way for us to get a glimpse of paradise on Earth without drastically altering its nature, without destroying it forever? A small Kayapo community which lives along the banks of the Iriri river might have the answer. Deep in the heart of the Menkragnoti Indigenous Territory, in one of the most isolated settlements of the tropical world lies Kendjam. A small village established only in 1993 by chief Pukatire who brought his followers away from the destructive influences of alcohol and the extractive industry with the goal to create a deeply traditional community.
Pukatire was once quoted as saying, “we only need the white man for three things: eyeglasses, flip-flops and flashlights”. And while he feels as strongly about preserving his people’s traditional lifestyles as he did when he founded Kendjam, he is now embracing a new sustainable model that can benefit his people without compromising the natural world upon which they depend. Today, thanks to a partnership between Associacao Floresta Protegida (Kayapo NGO), Untamed Angling and several Kayapo communities, outsiders can visit the rainforest in a way which is respectful to the environment and equitable towards the indigenous hosts. Instead of jeopardizing the traditional way of life of the communities, the project aims at further bolstering the pride the Kayapo take in their way of life, in their ancestral wisdom and profound knowledge of the surrounding environment.
You don’t need to travel to the heart of the Amazon in order to get an idea of what it is to be in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Whether you’re interested in fly-fishing or not, this brilliant short documentary produced by Todd Moen, a filmmaker affiliated from CatchMagazine, will take your spirit far from the confines of your modern life and will give you a glance of a world and a culture that have managed to survive despite all the mounting threats.
I hope that watching this video gave you a better sense of how important it is for us to do whatever we can to protect this jewel of biodiversity and traditional culture. Without their rivers, but more importantly, healthy rivers, the Kayapo would not be able to have access to the healthy fish stocks and other resources that their protected lands offer them generation after generation.
“We want to tell the kubẽ (white men) to listen, to respect our rivers, our forests, our land for where there is mining it gets worse for us because we can get sick. The relatives who live where there is gold mining are already sick. There is a lot of mercury contamination, even fish. That’s why I don’t want to mine in my village”. – Oro Muturua (Kayapó leader)
If you want to help the Kayapo in their fight for the protection of these pristine waters from the poisonous pollution of gold mining consider supporting their fundraiser. The funds will support the establishment of two guard posts in order to further the protection of Kayapo’s border entrances at the shores of the Iriri and Xingu rivers.